Samworth Brothers's Matthew Pickering named FTA truck driver of the year

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Matthew Pickering, of Samworth Brothers Supply Chain, has been named the Freight Transport Association’s Truck Driver of the Year 44-tonne 2016, beating 19 other finalists to lift the trophy.

The contest, held at Mercedes-Benz at Wentworth Park, Barnsley, examined contestants’ driving skills (fuel economy and driver behaviour), manoeuvring ability, risk awareness, legislative knowledge and their ability to identify pre-use defects of the vehicle.

Drivers were scored on each task and ranked based on their scores.

Pickering received his trophy from Sam Whittaker, director of customer service and operations from Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

He also picked up the prizes for the pre-use defect check and economical driving tasks.

Julie Maddocks, of the FTA, told the drivers: “We know from talking to our members - and you the drivers - how the vital role you play in delivering the goods is all too often overlooked, so this competition has been created to celebrate the skills and abilities of professional drivers across the freight and logistics sector and highlight the fantastic work you do on a day-to-day basis.”

Following the successful Van Excellence Driver of the Year events in 2014 and 2015, FTA introduced three separate contests this year celebrating the skills and abilities of professional drivers across the freight and logistics sector.  

Truck driver of the year 44-tonne, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Truck, was followed by truck driver of the year 18-tonne sponsored by Bridgestone Tyres and the Van Excellence driver of the year sponsored by LeasePlan UK.

Logistics operators including Speedy Services, Central England Co-Operative, Bookers, Ceva Logistics, Matalan, XPO Logistics and United Biscuits and among those represented at the competition.

The overall winner of the contest will be revealed at the Freight in the City expo at Alexandra Palace on November 2.

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